City County Council Actively Promotes Senior Health
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Cherrish S. Pryor
City County Council Actively Promotes Senior Health

Indianapolis -Members of the Indianapolis City-County Council joined local seniors for a fun, healthy walk around Washington Square Mall on Thursday morning to officially kick off the Senior Health Celebration: A Passport to Good Health.

Hundreds of seniors attended the walk and more are expected to attend the free event that ends at 3:30 p.m. today. In addition to the walk, a free lunch and more than 25 health screenings, such as cholesterol and blood pressure checks, dental, hearing and vision exams, bone density testing and information on healthy nutrition will be given at no charge.

The first-ever event also includes eight entertainment acts, massages, live cooking demonstrations and prize giveaways.

Council President Monroe Gray said, "The Council is pleased to bring this event to the community. Seniors have paved the way for many of us. Although life expectancy has increased over the years, we still need to do everything within our power to ensure that seniors have a longer and healthier life."

Councilman Ron Gibson, the event chairman said, "Seniors are the fastest growing population in our city and we as the legislative body wanted to offer this event to encourage seniors to live healthier lifestyles and to enjoy longer independence."

Marion County had a senior population (age 65 and older) of 95,514 in 2005. That number is expected to increase to 106,426 by the year 2015, 146,527 by 2025, and 177,510 by 2035 according to the Indiana Business Research Center of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

Life expectancy is increasing due in part to advances in health care and changes in lifestyle. The average life expectancy for women born in 2003 was 80 and for men 74.8. In contrast, for a woman born in 1900 life expectancy was just 48.3 years and 46.3 years for men. As late as 1950 the life expectancy at birth was 71.1 for women and 65.6 for men.

The local business community added its support to the Senior Health Celebration.

"Anthem is pleased to be a part of an event to promote healthy living for our seniors," said Lynne Gross, president of Senior Markets for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "Seniors will be able to learn more about nutrition, exercise and how to save on the cost of their prescription drugs," she said.

"Seniors will also have the opportunity to participate in the Medicare Part D Assessments. The deadline for seniors to enroll in a drug prescription plan is May 15, 2006, so this event is perfect for those seniors who still need to get signed up, but need help to do so," said President Gray.

Council President Gray was joined by Anthem’s Lynne Gross, Virginia Caine, M.D., Director of the Marion County Health Department, and Don Deutsch, Director of Health Promotions at Clarian Health Partners, in a morning news conference at the Senior Health Celebration. Councilman Steve Talley served as the Honorary Chairman for the event.

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